Synopsis by Matthew Tobey
One of the biggest hot-button issues dividing the United States has long been capital punishment, so when Illinois Governor George Ryan, a conservative Republican, commuted the sentences of 167 death row inmates the day before his term ended, it shocked the nation and outraged many in his own party. This documentary from the filmmaking duo of Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson explores not only the investigative work done by a group of Northwestern University journalism students that led to Ryan's staunch opposition to the death penalty, but also the impact the capital punishment debate has on the nation as a whole. Deadline premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
capital-punishment, condemned [prisoner], conservative, death-row, debate, evidence, governor, hearing [procedure], investigation, legal-rights, legal-system, pardon, Republican-Party, testimony, victim